Are Ancient Grains Healthier?

Are Ancient Grains Healthier?
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Ancient wheats like kamut are put to the test for inflammation, blood sugar, and cholesterol control.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The number one killer in the United States and around the world is what we eat, killing millions more than tobacco. What are the five most important things we can do to improve our diets, based on the single most comprehensive global study of the health impact of nutrition? Eat less salt, eat more nuts, eat more non-starchy vegetables, eat more fruit, and, finally, eat more whole grains.

Any particular type of whole grains? What about so-called ancient grains? Are they any better than modern varieties? Like what about kamut, the so-called mummy wheat, supposedly unearthed from an Egyptian tomb?

After World War II, the wheat industry selected particularly high-yielding varieties for pasta and bread. Over the past few years, though, some of the more ancient varieties have been reintroduced to the market, defined basically as those that haven’t been changed over the agricultural revolutions of the last century.

Nutritionally, einkorn wheat—the oldest wheat—and kamut have more of the eyesight-improving yellow carotenoid pigments, like lutein and zeaxanthin, compared to modern bread and pastry wheat because the pigments have been bred out of bread intentionally. People want their white bread white, but modern pasta flour (durum wheat) maintains much of that yellow hue nutrition.

Yes, modern wheat may have less lutein, but, for example, tends to have more vitamin E. Based on straight vitamin and mineral concentrations, it’s pretty much a wash. They both have lots of each, but the primitive wheats do have more antioxidant capacity––likely due to their greater polyphenol content. But to know if this makes any difference, you have to put it to the test.

If you expose human liver cells to digested bread made out of ancient grains—kamut and spelt (heritage wheat)—or modern strains, and then expose the cells to an inflammatory stimulus, the modern wheat strains seem less able to suppress the inflammation. The investigators conclude that despite the fact that these different grains seem to be very similar nutritionally, they seemed to exert different effects on human cells, “confirming the potential health benefits of ancient grains.” But this was in a petri dish. What about in people?

If ancient wheats are better at suppressing inflammation, what if you took people with irritable bowel syndrome and randomized them to receive six weeks of wheat products make out of ancient wheat—kamut in this case—or modern wheat? Same amount of wheat, just different types. If there’s no difference between the wheats, there’d be no difference in people’s symptoms, right? But, check this out. Here’s how the control groups did on the modern wheat. Switched to the kamut, they experienced less abdominal pain, less frequent pain, less bloating, more satisfaction with stool consistency, and less interference with their quality of life. So, after switching to the ancient wheat, patients experienced a significant global improvement in the extent and severity of symptoms related to their irritable bowel.

What about liver inflammation? The liver function of those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease randomized to eat kamut improved, compared to those eating the same amount of regular wheat, suggesting kamut is superior. In diabetics, better cholesterol and insulin sensitivity on the same ancient grain. In those with heart disease, better blood sugar control and better cholesterol. Better artery function in those without overt heart disease.

The bottom line is findings derived from human studies suggest that ancient wheat products are more anti-inflammatory, and improve things like blood sugar control and cholesterol. Given that the overall number of human interventional trials is still small, it is not possible to definitively conclude that ancient wheat varieties are superior to all commercial, modern wheat counterparts in reducing chronic disease risk, but the best available data does suggest they’re better if you have the choice.

Regardless of what type of wheat you may eat, word to the wise: don’t eat the plastic bread-bag clip. A 45-year-old guy presents with bloody stools. and this is what their CT scan looked like. Later questioned, the patient admitted to habitually eating quickly without chewing properly.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: 東京/日本 via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The number one killer in the United States and around the world is what we eat, killing millions more than tobacco. What are the five most important things we can do to improve our diets, based on the single most comprehensive global study of the health impact of nutrition? Eat less salt, eat more nuts, eat more non-starchy vegetables, eat more fruit, and, finally, eat more whole grains.

Any particular type of whole grains? What about so-called ancient grains? Are they any better than modern varieties? Like what about kamut, the so-called mummy wheat, supposedly unearthed from an Egyptian tomb?

After World War II, the wheat industry selected particularly high-yielding varieties for pasta and bread. Over the past few years, though, some of the more ancient varieties have been reintroduced to the market, defined basically as those that haven’t been changed over the agricultural revolutions of the last century.

Nutritionally, einkorn wheat—the oldest wheat—and kamut have more of the eyesight-improving yellow carotenoid pigments, like lutein and zeaxanthin, compared to modern bread and pastry wheat because the pigments have been bred out of bread intentionally. People want their white bread white, but modern pasta flour (durum wheat) maintains much of that yellow hue nutrition.

Yes, modern wheat may have less lutein, but, for example, tends to have more vitamin E. Based on straight vitamin and mineral concentrations, it’s pretty much a wash. They both have lots of each, but the primitive wheats do have more antioxidant capacity––likely due to their greater polyphenol content. But to know if this makes any difference, you have to put it to the test.

If you expose human liver cells to digested bread made out of ancient grains—kamut and spelt (heritage wheat)—or modern strains, and then expose the cells to an inflammatory stimulus, the modern wheat strains seem less able to suppress the inflammation. The investigators conclude that despite the fact that these different grains seem to be very similar nutritionally, they seemed to exert different effects on human cells, “confirming the potential health benefits of ancient grains.” But this was in a petri dish. What about in people?

If ancient wheats are better at suppressing inflammation, what if you took people with irritable bowel syndrome and randomized them to receive six weeks of wheat products make out of ancient wheat—kamut in this case—or modern wheat? Same amount of wheat, just different types. If there’s no difference between the wheats, there’d be no difference in people’s symptoms, right? But, check this out. Here’s how the control groups did on the modern wheat. Switched to the kamut, they experienced less abdominal pain, less frequent pain, less bloating, more satisfaction with stool consistency, and less interference with their quality of life. So, after switching to the ancient wheat, patients experienced a significant global improvement in the extent and severity of symptoms related to their irritable bowel.

What about liver inflammation? The liver function of those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease randomized to eat kamut improved, compared to those eating the same amount of regular wheat, suggesting kamut is superior. In diabetics, better cholesterol and insulin sensitivity on the same ancient grain. In those with heart disease, better blood sugar control and better cholesterol. Better artery function in those without overt heart disease.

The bottom line is findings derived from human studies suggest that ancient wheat products are more anti-inflammatory, and improve things like blood sugar control and cholesterol. Given that the overall number of human interventional trials is still small, it is not possible to definitively conclude that ancient wheat varieties are superior to all commercial, modern wheat counterparts in reducing chronic disease risk, but the best available data does suggest they’re better if you have the choice.

Regardless of what type of wheat you may eat, word to the wise: don’t eat the plastic bread-bag clip. A 45-year-old guy presents with bloody stools. and this is what their CT scan looked like. Later questioned, the patient admitted to habitually eating quickly without chewing properly.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: 東京/日本 via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Whole (ideally intact!) grains—ancient and modern alike—are an integral part of my Daily Dozen checklist—the healthiest of healthy things I encourage everyone to try to fit into their daily routines.

They’re especially good for our microbiome:

What about gluten? See:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

170 responses to “Are Ancient Grains Healthier?

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  1. Well, this was fascinating.

    I bake sourdough whole grain bread, and I grind my own flour. I’ve been using the so-called ancient wheats and heritage wheats because I think they make a better, tastier bread (as well as waffles and other sourdough baked goods). But I never thought that they might actually be healthier.

    Though information presented elsewhere on this site does point out that eating the whole grain, as opposed to grain ground up into flour, is even healthier. So I’ve been trying to incorporate more cooked whole wheat berries (as the grains are called) into my diet.

    1. Yes, i dont think any bread can be considered a health food because it is rich in salt and toxic carcinogenic acrylamide from high temperature cooking, along with yeast…

        1. Sharon, starch is actually extremely healthy. Contrary to popular belief, you can lose a lot of weight on a high starch diet. People actually go on potato diets to lose weight among other things.

            1. Don, I sound kind of bitchy saying this, but for the record, Julot has also said that it was a fact that unripe fruit or even fruit not thoroughly ripe was toxic. Don’t take commenters’ words for things without evidence to back it up. I do not believe baked bread is high in acrylamide… maybe if there’s oil in it? But it isn’t a known carcinogen. Dr. Greger is concerned about it, but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of data so I personally am not overly concerned about it so long as my diet doesn’t consist only of roasted nuts and fried oil.

      1. Julot, thanks for the mention of acrylamide in bread. Strangely the salt and yeast may inhibit the formation of acrylamide to some degree. This link has a lot of info and incomplete bits of studies but you may find it interesting. Meanwhile I’m going to get around to learnng to make vegan steamed buns.

      2. Ezekiel 4:9 bread makes the grade as a health food. I’m not sure about the acrylamide content. It comes frozen with grain content options to choose from.

      3. Bread is not full of “toxic carcinogenic acrylamides” … maybe if you fry the bread… From what I gathered–last I checked–there didn’t seem to be a lot of good data on acrylamides and it’s not considered a known carcinogen. In fact, the NTP classified it as “reasonably ANTICIPATED to be a human carcinogen.”

        Baking is not that high temperature; it’s not like frying.

        Yeast is not a harmful thing, it’s actually highly nutritious. You simply do not want to consume ACTIVE yeast, but yeast is deactivated by lower temperatures than baking calls for, that’s why it’s perfectly fine to consume in bread and baked goods.

        1. Bread is not full of “toxic carcinogenic acrylamides” … maybe if you fry the bread… From what I gathered–last I checked–there didn’t seem to be a lot of good data on acrylamides and it’s not considered a known carcinogen. In fact, the NTP classified it as “reasonably ANTICIPATED to be a human carcinogen.”

          Baking is not that high temperature; it’s not like frying.
          ————————————————————————-
          This triggered a thought… I have one of those convection air ovens… the round ones. I don’t eat bread so I’ve never cooked any in my air oven. But I have in the past cooked meat in it and it always made it tender and juicy.

          Can’t remember what else but there was something I cooked in there that fluffed up. This has me wondering if baking bread in one of these would make a safer bread (from whatever there is out there that might make it unsafe?) Just curious if anyone has seen any data about bread cooked this way?

    2. Fresh ground regular wheat tastes far better than bagged flour by itself with a nutty flavor. It is surprising how most people do not know this.

    1. dr cobalt,

      One of the so-called ancient grains mentioned in the Wikipedia article is barley. Well, good luck finding whole intact barley grains: barley is mostly sold as polished or pearled barley, which means that the outer seed coat is partially to completely ground off. Apparently, the germ or baby plant is also removed (though not all sources mention this). Both the seed coat and germ/baby plant are dense sources of nutrients, including proteins, oils, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So polished barley is like white rice (which is also polished, to remove the seed coat, and possibly the germ/baby plant as well): they are not whole grains. But they cook faster. And they are lighter in color. Both desirable culinary traits, apparently. But they are also less nutritious, and more similar to refined white flour.

      Intact barley is referred to as “hulled” (with the hull removed but the seed coat intact) or “hull-less” (in which the hull is looser and falls off, also with the seed coat intact). Intact barley needs to be pre-soaked before cooking, takes longer to cook, and is chewier and less creamy than pearled barley. (Similar to the differences between brown rice and white rice.) But, it’s delicious! (Again, similar to brown vs white rice.)

        1. Yes it is, there is lots of whole, intact rice. Brown rice is intact and whole but has its shell removed. You can get black and red rice which has the shell. Both of extremely edible and extremely delicious.

      1. There is a “hull less” barley you can find that grows with outer hull so loosely attached that it pretty much falls off without milling. That can be eaten (boiled) or ground for bread, as is.

      2. We only use hulled barley ! It’s great – and we use less of it than what the recipe calls for. I don’t presoak it though I guess that might speed things up. I just throw it in the pot with broth/water, sommer 20 min, then start chopping and building the soup.

          1. Did you notice the purpose of this intact barley? “Used for growing barley grass.” We can’t digest the hulls of barley or probably any of the gains.

      3. I love hulled barley–I can find some in bulk in a local health food store, so I’m lucky in that respect. I don’t bother pre-soaking it; I just boil up some water, toss it in, and turn the burner down to simmer. I like barley chewy-soft, and I find that that takes about 30 to 40 minutes of simmering time. The cooked barley keeps in the fridge for several days, so I make a big-ish batch that I can use in several salads and soups and such.

        1. I use quick barley and combine it with old fashioned oats in a storage container with nuts, dried fruits, cocoa, yeast and other goodies. I take a serving size container of this mix from the storage container, add a bit of water to the serving container, and blueberries, and microwave it for no more than two minutes. Then add apples, citrus and banana.

      4. Wow. What’s really maddening is realizing how long ago I started buying pearled barley, thinking it was the “good stuff.” And only now do I find out it goes through the same refinement process as wheat berries: millers remove the germ and bran and sell the endosperm to the bakeries and processors who make white flour products. Then they sell the bran and germ to the other high bidders on the markets who make other products (bran flakes?). In the meantime, white flour (as I understand it) is so nutritionally effete that millers can store it in warehouses for months and not worry about parasites eating it… they simply won’t. I wonder why!

        Wonder why I feel so cheated!

        Thanks for sharing. (You made my day… grumble, grumble). =]

      5. Dr. J,

        THANK YOU for this info!! That is really important to know. That makes me sad thinking of the people spending their hard earned money thinking they’re being awesome buying an intact grain from the health food store shelves… It’s not cheap, either–from what I saw.

        What about buckwheat? Is this truly whole? I got some and it cooked really fast. Turns out, I hate the taste of buckwheat, but I at least thought it was a healthy whole intact grain… hope I was right.

    2. What I would ask about the studies cited in the video is, Did they use organic modern whole wheat or wheat that was harvested using Round-up to maximize harvest yields? Organic modern wheat would be the only way to eliminate any chance of foreign chemicals interfering with results.

      1. Marcy, I so agree that organic or grown with pesticides or worse, GMO, should be noted in studies. I can’t see how pesticides and especially GMO’s due to more pesticide use and also genetic alterations, wouldn’t play a role in results. Especially when they’re testing for benefits of antioxidants when we already KNOW that organically grown produce has significantly more antioxidant content so that kind of info would be incredibly useful, you would think.

      2. Marcy, your point is well-taken and recognized by the researchers. For example in this study “Do ancient types of wheat have health benefits compared with modern bread wheat?” it was specifically stated that Kamut® is a registered trademark of Kamut International Ltd and is only grown on certified organic farms and that “samples used for comparative intervention studies should be grown under similar conditions, if possible in randomised replicated plots.”

    3. dr cobalt, GM foods (genetically modified foods) are not the same as foods varieties attained through selective breeding. Selective breeding has been used for thousands of years … pairing specimens with desirable traits to get offspring with that combination of traits.
      Most of our modern day foods and natural textile fibers are the result of selective breeding.
      I do agree with you though, and look for the non-gmo seal before I buy anything.

      1. When it comes to wheat you also have to make sure it is organic or certified chemical free, because most wheat is sprayed with weed killer shortly before harvest to dry down plants that are still green and maximize yield.

  2. That’s great but irrelevant to the those of us living “on the fringes” of modern society-a/k/a rural America. It’s hard enough to find any whole-grain products in the limited stores we have serving us. There are no healthy food outlets beyond farmers markets. You can forget finding whole-grain pasta or natural peanut butter or purple cabbage in these areas. Yes we can mail-order anything or drive 50 miles to get some of them, but these options run the expenses associated way up.

    I suppose this opens up a section of society I can tailor my teachings to. I should write a book for rural America. Ruralism is consistently ignored by Dr. Greger and others in the field. Rural folks need nutrition options and ideas too. What is readily available/affordable to city folks just isn’t always the case for the rural populations I’m familiar with.

    I’m not ready to buy a grain mill just yet, but have had rural friends do such for the best breads and greatest options-mail order wheat of course. Now we know it’s for better health too.

    1. Wade,

      You bring up an interesting point: Food desserts don’t just exist in poor urban neighborhoods, but also in rural areas. I was surprised to learn this; I had the misimpression that most folks living in rural areas had kitchen gardens. (My parents grew one for years, and so do I, to a more limited extent. But then, they grew up during the Depression and WWII, when home gardens were a necessity, and then Victory Gardens became widespread. My parents even canned produce, and my dad dug a root cellar in one house we lived in.)

      I don’t know what the solution is. I do online order organic wheat berries (organic) from a store in Iowa, as I can’t find any nearby in CT. I’ve also started incorporating these grains cooked intact into my diet (albeit at a very slow rate). And I shop at local farmers markets when possible, and I’ve shopped at farm market stands, as you mentioned.

      Another issue is that FT working parents with kids (or even without care giving responsibilities) have a tough time cooking meals at home, especially whole plant foods. My cooking mantra is Easy, Simple, and Quick — and that is rare. Especially when adding in the shopping. Convenience food is highly alluring.

      ps: if you start baking bread, use the No Knead method — so simple, almost fail-proof, and makes bread that is better tasting and healthier than almost anything you can buy. Even if you use white four and yeast — because it doesn’t have all those other additives in it, just water, flour, salt, and yeast. Plus, the aroma of baking bread is heavenly!! If only it were healthier…

      1. Thanks for reply. Yes. The “fancy stuff” isn’t as widely distributed as fast food chains reach. I can’t even buy whole wheat flour locally. I do make breads and enjoy the process-and never use sugar (or conditioners, etc.). And I usually have a small summer kitchen garden. I too grew up with a gardening mom, and learned from her. But I’m in a bit of transition, moving to my homestead soon, where I’ll have a 3-seasons garden and much more of my fresh food needs will be met from it. However I don’t expect grains will be a big part of that. Perhaps I’ll grow flax. Ideally I’ll get a mill and order grains and these better grains will be available. I do love wheat.

        I am able to “get out” to the big town down the road and find many things, but know folks here who never venture out, especially not for groceries. These folks also likely don’t feel any need to get out and don’t understand the damage their “normal foods” are doing to them. I hope that they catch on as this country very slowly learns to eat better.

        1. Hi Wade,
          I am glad to learn more about rural food deserts. I find it ironic that, out of all these presidential candidates talking about what to do about health care, none has even a clue about doing something to encourage people to eat healthier and solve some of our health care problem that way. Encouraging healthy eating, taxing toxins and added sugars, etc., aiding rural communities and urban food deserts to get healthier food, and so on…Mexico has about the same life expectancy as the US on a third of the health care budget despite the poorer health care and that must be because of lifestyle factors like eating healthier.
          As to supplies of healthier food in rural areas, I’d try to join with some other like-minded people and organize buying trips. Also, you might find that if you asked your local supermarket chains to carry health foods, they might do so, or even order in specific items for you…after all, the truck from their supplier is coming anyway…good luck and don’t let the obstacles keep you from a WFPB diet.

          1. RoyJohn– At least some of “all these political candidates” do have a clue. “Medicare for All” is a proposal for improving American public health through a dramatically improved national health care policy. The policy addresses the fundamental problem with health care today, which– as you seem to realize– is (1) unaffordable (2) unavailable (3) driven by drug and other corporate profits, not by concern for health care consumers. Education about better nutrition is certainly part of that policy, and can bring a huge benefit to those who do not know even what good nutrition is, much less how to obtain it. The problem with blaming all political candidates for not promoting better health is it does not apply to at least Sanders and Warren, if not others. All candidates, including Steyer and even Bloombery, would agree about the value of good nutrition– the key issue of this century, around the world.

          2. Not sure where you live but you might check out Azure Standard, a family-owned natural food company in Oregon, offers free delivery by truck every four weeks to many parts of the country. Their prices are better than the retail natural food stores. Minimum order to set up a drop location is $500, which is not hard to do if several people join forces.

          3. I’m in the South–the LAST place to catch up to anything new and healthful. The land dominated by FF and Cracker Barrels, and Denny’s and every other most horrible place to source your meals. They THRIVE here, and keep the hospitals hoppin’. Hellfire–the local HOSPITAL offers up a menu–promotes it to the general public that is absolutely dripping with fat, grease, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. I posted it on a FB nutritionally-oriented group once for laughs (and sobs). EVERY single item on the menu was horrible for anyone with T2D or a cardiac condition-which of course most folks eating at the hospital have or will get.

            We have decades of millions of dollars of brainwashing to chip away. It’s a long road from here.

    2. I feel your pain Wade. It’s the same for me. I was shopping 70 miles from home the other day and stumbled onto black rice. Wow, that was cool but the thought of traveling 50-70 miles for decent food is appalling. We have a lot of farmers here and a lot of home gardens but no farmers market , the soil is not great. I’ve tried to grow a few things and at best I get a very expensive product because I suck at gardening. I had a tomato plant last year that produced one tomato the size of a large grape . The only thing I’ve been successful with growing has been basil and peppers. Like you wish it was possible to get fresh produce.

      1. David Armstrong,

        I made raised garden beds, because the back yard was full of tree roots! Then I added organic matter, whatever I could find (cardboard, wood chips on the bottom, old leaves, compost) (as well as the sod I dug up around the edges of the garden beds, which I turned upside down in the beds) and started planting. It’s one solution to poor soil. Gardening in layers of organic material is called “lasagna gardening;” there are books written about it, and probably online articles as well.

        And the easiest thing I’ve grown are greens: kale, collards, arugula, Asian greens, etc. In fact, when I’ve let some go to seed, I get second and third generations! Even in the grass outside the garden beds (we mow infrequently). Sometimes lettuce (it seems pickier to me). Also, radishes, turnips, beets to some extent. Parsley, cilantro, other herbs. And I need to eat more greens and herbs. Beans and greens.

        But true confessions: the rodents are a problem: rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks…all the abundant suburban wildlife. They think I work for them, growing produce.

        1. Dr. J, I don’t know where you’re at, but the Willimantic Food Coop has bulk organic, grains, beans, seeds, nuts, flours, etc at very good prices. Some even locally grown and milled.
          https://www.willimanticfood.coop/
          I have two good farm dogs that keep the smaller critters in check. And put up a seven foot deer fence. Three years ago grew and pressure canned 339 quarts of organic/no spray vegetables. Mostly cruciferous greens. That was a lot of work. Typically grow 50-100 butternut squash also. Stores excellently in the basement at 50-55 degrees F. Have baked quash once or twice a week for most of the year.

          1. Blair,

            Thanks for the tip; I live in a Hartford area suburban neighborhood, and I plan to check out the Willimantic Food Coop. I used to live in Madison, WI, and I miss both the HUGE farmers market around the Capitol building every Saturday morning, and the Willy St Coop, where I was a member for almost 30 years.

            And WOW!! About your gardening efforts AND results. We used to have outdoor neighborhood cats, who kept the rodent population in check, but one by one they passed away, so now we have very bold critters, indeed. Not deer, though, that I’ve ever seen. I eat what I grow as I grow it; I haven’t tried to preserve any of it. Though I do have a squash still in the basement (fingers crossed; I forgot about it).

        2. Dr. J, I did the same thing, raised beds to avoid the roots and rocks. Trees are smart and hungry for any rich, organic soil in our rocky area, and within a few years my raised beds were choked with tree roots that required roto-tilling yearly, disturbing the mycorhyza, earthworms, and all what made the garden productive. My garden has become an expensive hobby for the benefit of all the rodents and bugs that proliferate here. Can’t stop, though—my need to garden is almost pathologic, lol.

      2. The other thing one can do when one has poor soil is to enrich it with the peelings, (hopefully organic,) of daily foods. Even though I don’t have a garden, I am in the country and want the soil good for whoever lives here after I do…. I have been doing this for the 30 years I’ve been living here.

    3. There are food coops where groups get together and order and then meet a semi in a parking lot for pick-up. A bit time consuming but a way to get organics and specialty foods. If you have access to a Walmart-like market, you can order online and pick it up at the store, without shipping costs.

    4. you can find whole grains affordably online. It is most cost effective to buy 25 lb bags or larger. Because of the natural structure of grain, it doesn’t degrade as fast as flour or processed grain.

    5. For those of us that are poor, we cannot even find healthy options online that we can afford. We live on several acres, but there is no way I can grow my own wheat or oats that I need to use for bread.

    1. I understand that one of the reasons for poor nutrition in many older people is poor dentition which makes chewing food difficult or even impossible

      1. Scrambled tofu is easier to eat. Nutritious smoothies can be drank . Well cooked oatmeal might work. And soups. Bread can be soaked in a drink. Getting enough B-12 can be difficult for some elderly resulting in anemia.

  3. I never ate a plastic bread bag clip. But I do admit to inhaling food, which is something I do less of now. I understand that eating fast is not healthy and that spending time to chew food may mean that more of it will be absorbed across the lining of the small intestine. I did find blue bits of a latex substance in the whole bread I was eating at one time. I called the company number on the bread wrapper to report the blue contaminant.
    I do my part to eat older grains like barley and oats, two main ingredients in my breakfast cereal. I have eaten wild rice, millet, amaranth blue corn and quinoa. I add brown rice to my stew.

  4. Thank you for this Dr Greger!

    White bread is a big no no! The science and research aside, anyone who is interested in nutrition and their own physical health will intuitively know these things because the body is the best detector.
    Your body will tell you when something is good for you or not. Eating Kamut and other wild grains has really had an effect on my health in the best way. I can tell after eating white rice or bread that my body starts working too hard, I just have this weight or heaviness in my gut.

    Thank you again Doc! Will be watching every video you upload!

    Plant based/Vegans United!

      1. The doctor she had interviewed about nuts is on the side of not eating them at all.

        There are things like improving insulin resistance (which comes with fats) are one of the things the doctor and Chef AJ point to.

        Also, they said that by not having the Omega 6 from nuts, people end up with a better Omega 3 to 6 ratio particularly if the people eat greens twice a day and no nuts or seeds.

        The doctor was against flaxseeds, too.

        Dr. Greger and doctors like Fuhrman point to the vegan Adventists having fewer heart problems if they ate nuts then when they didn’t eat nuts.

        1. Jenn,

          The studies with nuts and weight gain have shown that nut eaters are often people with the lowest BMI and people like the Adventist vegans did better when eating nuts.

          But she gave examples of a Type 1 Diabetic whose insulin levels would be off if he ate nuts and she gave the example of women who couldn’t seem to get the scales to budge without getting rid of avocados and nuts and seeds.

          The third and final point was that nuts are higher in Omega 6 and throw off the Omega 3 to 6 ratio unless you eat a lot of greens and sometimes even when you do eat them.

          The Adventists and a few other groups show that you can eat them and have fewer heart problems, but the insulin resistance and not losing weight and Omega 3 to 6 ratio are the issues the no nuts groups use.

          I can put Dr. Ornish in the middle and he uses a category I would call just one or two nuts.

          1. Dr. Greger pointed to nuts increasing metabolism and that giving even a whole lot of pistachios didn’t cause weight gain. There was a study where people were given 121 pistachios per day and they didn’t gain weight.

            It was similar with 3/4 of a cup of pecans – no weight gain.

            50 almonds per day did show less than a pound of weight gain, so there is an upper limit.

            But not gaining weight is different from losing weight and that is harder to determine.

            I am someone who hasn’t lost much weight going WFPB and I didn’t always eat nuts, but for the past 6 months I have eaten hummus because I really, really like it and I like my day better when I have something like that rather than just fruits and vegetables, but I have to eat smaller portions or I don’t lose weight even mostly eating greens and mushrooms and things like oranges.

            Do I think it is healthier not eating nuts or seeds?

            There are no studies at all saying that yet.

            So that side is just pointing to the fact that if you eat fewer nuts and seeds, you can eat fewer calories and it is easier to lose weight and you will test better for the Omega 3 to 6 ratio, but if you are thin and you like nuts, take comfort in the Adventists.

              1. But I would be interested in a study on nuts and insulin resistance.

                Though nuts also cause blood sugars not to spike as much.

                So I just am not sure how to do that math yet.

                1. I just tried to look it up and I am not sure that Chef AJ was right about the insulin resistance.

                  She might be wrong about the insulin resistance thing.

                  Here is a sentence in one pubmed article. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20199997

                  Through different mechanisms, some components of nuts such as magnesium, fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, L-arginine, antioxidants and MUFA may protect against inflammation and insulin resistance.

                  Here is another article about it.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707743/

                  Well, Dr. Greger, I nominate nuts and insulin resistance as a topic because I would like to understand it.

                  1. And now I wish we had a delete button for our own comments because I just posted what was said in the discussion between the doctor and Chef AJ and the fact that the studies seem to be saying the opposite, I would like to remove the comments so as to not be confusing.

                    1. Deb, we used to be able to edit our comments here, but that was smashed some years ago. It’s extremely frustrating and a large part of the reason I don’t participate here any more. I spend too many hours proofing my thoughts and then miss a misspelled word or concept and it looks like turd. So we “get what we pay for” I suppose.

                      On another note: FLAXSEED IS TOPS for me! and MANY of “my” doctors recommend them. “My” doctors are those online with whom I have the most interaction. I hardly ever see a doctor in person. ever. Not in my budget and I’m not sick.

          2. Hi Deb,

            Thank you. I agree with the BMI study you had presented. Dr. Greger mentioned this same study and I just found it on Pub Med. I eat walnuts. One serving is 190 calories and I have half that in my salad. I was just confused about Chef AJ’s comment. But she isn’t a doctor, she is a chef…

            I also use flaxeggs instead of eggs. My doctor said flax is good for your hormones.

            Thanks so much!

        2. I am an [vegan] Adventist who cannot gain an ounce when I try. I eat nuts every day, but not more than about 1oz a meal. There are many vegan Adventists that I know that eat very complicated dishes that try to mimic meat, cheese and many other unhealthy fancy foods, besides having nut butters and high calorie super nutrient smoothies. These Adventists are mostly overweight if not obese. You can be a very unhealthy vegan if you make it too complicated. Just eat simple, clean fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains and vegetables, with emphasis on color especially green and red and you will be healthy. Just don’t for get potatoes.

          1. Keep it simple. I agree. Franken (fake) foods may be worse than the food being faked. You know you may be on to something good if being over weight is next to impossible.

    1. Some nutritionists recommend people with heart disease go easy on nuts because of the oil. Some studies show nuts may not cause weight gain and may be heart healthy. Some nutritionists suggest eating a palm full of say walnuts per day can be healthy and even that a bit of oil from food can significantly make the nutrients in salads bio-available.

    2. Hello Jen,

      That is likely because of their high caloric density; however, there is evidence that nuts are too satiating to overeat. Ultimately they don’t seem to lead to weight loss, but don’t seem to cause weight gain either! If you want to learn more, I would highly suggest reading about it in Dr. Greger’s new book, “How Not To Diet”!

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

  5. I read Wheat Belly and Grain Brain when they came out and cut out grains almost entirely. Bread, muffins, pasta, pancakes…all those baked goods, even the ones with so-called healthy whole grain. Lost weight, felt a lot better. I might try some ancient grains and see what happens.

    1. AZ_Cowboy,

      I cut out grains, too. (I didn’t read those books, but probably was subliminally influenced by people who influenced people who influenced people after reading those books, without realizing it) I didn’t lose weight or feel better. I haven’t fully gone back to them yet but when I do, it will be more like grain bowls rather than muffins.

      I did do the big muffin trend and the mini muffins in their day.

      Doing this process, what I have come to find out is that I don’t really know what has influenced me, but I have done the “trends” even without knowing.

      Some of us, who never read any nutrition books at all and who didn’t watch nutritionists on television maybe saw a half minute segment on some news program or something and we don’t really know where our thoughts about foods came from.

      I think that is why I come here every single day. By having a touchstone of sorts, I can go out and come back in and I am more aware of whose teachings and which studies my learning is based on.

      Dr. Greger mentioned the nuts in this study and yesterday, Chef AJ had an anti-nuts doctor and now I can listen to both and understand where both belief systems came from.

      I think before, I would have what the news or Time Magazine would say and it would be: Butter is bad for you. Butter is better than margarine. Butter is bad for you. A big “Butter is back” magazine cover at a grocery store checkout or on a talk show with a foodie or host saying, ‘I am so glad I can eat butter again’ and an audience laughing. and that is the level the news people deal with things.

  6. Barb,

    I was thinking about you when I was listening to Chef AJ’s speakers yesterday. A doctor said that eating greens twice a day gives good iron levels.

  7. I’ve been following you, Dr. Gregor, for a very long time, subscribe, and support/contribute. Almost always excellent content. I find the new format where you are featured on screen distracting. Seeing you lecture ‘live’ is a treat, but a lot less so when it’s a video. Please consider changing the format. Respectfully …

    Thanks.

    1. Arthur,

      Thank you for being respectful.

      I always appreciate it when people show up and are respectful.

      Dr. Greger has already received feedback on this format being distracting, but he already has months of this format that have been made.

      So hang-in-there.

      Eventually, I trust that there will be videos with a less distracting format again.

      1. Arthur Says:
        I’ve been following you, Dr. Gregor, for a very long time, subscribe, and support/contribute. Almost always excellent content. I find the new format where you are featured on screen distracting. Seeing you lecture ‘live’ is a treat, but a lot less so when it’s a video. Please consider changing the format. Respectfully …

        Thanks.
        —————————————–
        Deb, this guy’s a contributor, not a freeloader (like me ‘-) so his opinion should carry more weight. We have no assurance the videos will go back to the old format so it is important that those like him continue to express their opinion.

      2. Deb – What are you . . . – the hall monitor?
        Have you ever considered consolidating and organizing your thoughts and posting just once or twice? You take up so much space with your over-posting that one just skips you.
        Conversation hog.

        1. Rob, I can understand your wanting everything laid out neatly and orderly, but I see Deb’s thoughts like a conversation, albeit with herself sometimes. I guess Hall Monitor would be an o.k. term to use… especially as she is a fountain of knowledge in re: what Greger’s videos have been posted.

          Considering she takes the time to look up those videos sometimes is a valuable asset for the site, IMO.

          And most of her posts are short making it easy to scan them and determine if I want to dwell on them or respond. But like you said, you can just skip over them. I do that for a lot of posts but don’t feel put out if they are irrelevant to me.

          To me, Deb favors this site with soul as she opens up about her personal experiences. She’s our kodachrome… please don’t tahhhhkkke our kodachrome awa-a-a-ay. ‘-)

          1. Old school internet etiquette understood double posting as a gaff. Less obtrusive if double posts were limited and contained a quick apology. Double posting is a personal sin I often commit. Multiple posts in a row was considered spamming and could get people banned from forums. In today’s reality, these things are minor. The regular posters here are polite and considerate which adds to the pleasant experience in my opinion.

          1. Thank you Lonie and Liisa, you are both sweethearts.

            Ron is right that I don’t consolidate my thoughts. I think it’s hard for me to consolidate them because we are trying to learn so many things at the same time and some topics are confusing.

            I am thinking though that Rob is the hall monitor. I am the one running in the halls that he has to scold.

            But the fact that there is endless room for anyone to comment causes me to disagree with the comment hog.

            I do post second and third thoughts as I try to work through the logic.

            I expect that by next year I will have learned so much that it will be easier.

  8. Speaking of grains, I ran across a research paper a while back that had a fascinating set of graphs showing that of all the major food groups, whole grains could be the most important food associated with a long healthy life! They even beat out legumes, which are also super healthy. A lot of the food groups show a “U-shape” curve, meaning that a certain amount continues to be good for you, but too much of it starts to cause harm. Some curves slope up to start with, indicating to me that any amount is probably bad for you. Can you guess which ones are in that category? :-)

    Of course, the graphs were derived from a meta-analysis of prospective studies, so it doesn’t meet the gold standard of a double blind, placebo controlled study of n > 1000 humans! So I’m sure there will be all kinds of refutations of the findings by various “experts”.

    Anyway, I thought the curves were so awe-inspiring, I printed a copy of the graphs and put it on my refridge as a reminder :-)

    The title of the paper is : “Food groups and risk of all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies” and it’s from “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 105, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 1462–1473”

    Here’s a link to the paper where the pdf version can be downloaded for free. The graph is Figure 1 on page 1466

    https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/105/6/1462/4569801

    1. Darwin,

      I had looked at that study before but when I get to the graphs they are so small and I haven’t figured out how to magnify them.

      They offered two ways of looking at them.

      Maybe I needed to download it.

      No, I can’t guess which ones at all.

      But if it is fruits and vegetables, you need to bring it over to Chris over in the blog and give him a thumbs up that there might be a risk factor involved with eating too many fruits and vegetables.

      1. Deb, I agree that the graphs on the website are very low resolution, so when magnified, they become blurry. I had to download the pdf file, then zoom in on the page that has the graphs, then they became readable. The 3 food groups that continually increased in RR are Red Meat, Processed Meat, and Sugar-sweetened beverages.

  9. This idea about the ancient grains makes sense. Jo Robinson wrote a great book called “Eating on the Wild Side,” that shows how we have bred the nutrition out of our produce by making it sweeter and more bland. It sells, until you realize that you have cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disease and you can’t play on the softball team anymore, so it’s all going downhill quickly.

    1. John

      The concept that we have bred the nutrition out of our produce is one of those factors that is so hard to figure out in the obstacle course to optimal health.

      There was a doctor on Chef AJ’s program who has his own farm and market for his patients to buy healthier than organic fruits and vegetables.

      It makes me wish I lived near him.

  10. Interesting video, thank you for sharing. I’d like to find out if the study on ancient wheat varieties was only done with Kamut, which is a commercial patented brand name or is it true for all ancient wheats?

  11. Off topic, but not sure where else to ask. I saw a post by Jeff Novack that said Dr. G had updated his recommendation for B12 and D supplements. Can someone please help me to find this post or at least point me to where I should monitor on this site for changes to previous blogs/videos. I absolutely agree that as the science changes I would expect the recommendations to change, but I’m just unsure how to find those changes. Thank you. A proud supporter of NutritionFacts.org.

    1. Bonnie,

      Jeff posted the Daily Dozen app and it never had Dr. Greger’s recommendations on it.

      Dr. Greger’s own site still recommends the supplements.

      Jeff might be making things up, and I say that because when Jeff was talking against Omega 3 and Vitamin D on his own site, Dr. Greger re-posted his logic for Omega 3 and Vitamin D and he just recently posted that Vitamin D helps with infections. Just a day or two ago.

      I just used Vitamin D to cure a decade of insomnia after one larger dose, based on a study that I saw. Can’t believe that I have slept for 5 nights in a row after just doing one high dose.

      1. Jeff tends to skew the things Dr. Greger says and I have seen that now at least 3 or 4 times.

        Jeff might somehow not understand Dr. Greger’s logic or some other reason, but this time, he used Dr. Greger’s logo as if Dr. Greger had announced a change in requirements and either Jeff is confused or deceptive.

        1. The fact that Jeff announced that Dr. Greger had changed his requirements while Dr. Greger was posting his D series in the blog here, Jeff isn’t that great a journalist at the very least.

          1. Deb, it wasn’t Jeff Nelson (the journalist). It was Jeff Novick, the Registered Dietition who gives talks on calorie density , shopping etc. He had posted a screenshot.

      2. Laughing, and, no, it wasn’t Dr. Greger recommending the high dose.

        I just ran across a study where being deficient in Vitamin D caused insomnia and supplementing immediately reversed it and it worked.

        1. I forgot to say it but without changing my diet, I lost the 2 pounds that I had gained after starting eating breakfast.

          I am not sure whether it is related to sleep or Vitamjn D intake but 2 pounds without hanging anything makes me hopeful.

          1. I have been thinking about Vitamin D after people posted the steroid thing.

            Mentally, fewer infections, more sleep and losing weight make it not feel like a steroid.

            Don’t steroids cause weight gain, hunger and more infections?

            1. Steroids increase the risk of Diabetes.

              Vitamin D decreases insulin resistance and decreases the risk even of Type 1.

              Anyway, I nominate Vitamin D for a seminar, but it would be a volatile topic.

              1. I went through the prednisone symptom list and vitamin D supplements reverses rather than causes a lot of them.

                But steroid is such a scary word and the one thing I couldn’t find was whether your body stops being able to make it’s own and becomes dependent.

                I would guess it would already have happened for me when I was drinking milk, but that is the scary thought that went through my head when people started saying, ”it is a steroid.”

      1. spring,

        Do we know for sure that he hasn’t changed his mind this month and told Jeff and forgot to come back here and change his own pages?

        The logo being pasted on the McDougall site makes it look “official” and we are deducing that Jeff just looked at the Daily Dozen and decided that Dr. Greger changed his mind but I would appreciate hearing that it is just Jeff drawing his own conclusions over there.

      2. Thank you, Spring03. I messed up, it was DHA supplement, not b12. I went to topics and looked at both DHA and other algae topics and I couldn’t find the “What’s New” that was referenced. It’s a screen shot with the NutritionFacts.org logo and it says “*Per Dr. Greger’s recommendation we have removed DHA as a required supplement.” I did not see this in the DHA topics on supplements or DHA so was mainly wondering where this was coming from on this site. I’m thinking it came from the app which I do not use.

  12. I honestly think it is just that Jeff is so emotionally invested in his answers that he is willing to say almost anything to have his side win and that it is because he believes that he is right.

    But that is my “life experience” nonprofessional counseling concept.

    I think he doesn’t fight fair all of the time and might have a little bit of a manipulative side.

    Those are just my thoughts but when I went there, it looked like Dr. Greger had officially announced changing his answer.

    1. Deb, you are mistaken about who it is! It was NOT Jeff Nelson, and you are making statements that do not apply in this case. Jeff Novick is a dietition.

      1. Barb, yes, and I posted somewhere that I can see why you like Jeff NOVICK. I said he has a cute smile or something. :-D

        Will have to check into him more often.

        1. Yes YR, Jeff is great. He produces videos to help people shop economically and cook simple, good tasting meals in minutes. Here is a vid https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PXi998JX8YM The man is very entertaining to watch. I like how he works so hard to make plant based eating, healthy eating, accessible to all, because frankly, the plant based community can be more than a little off-putting with their food snobbery. Some of the recommendations just are not an option for many folks.

          As an aside, my hunch is that the daily dozen app programmers had included some of the “optimal recommendations” which are not listed with the daily dozen origional, and a decision was made to remove them from the app. Nothing more. That is my guess. If a change is in the offing, we will hear about it under Doctor’s Notes, or Q&A or something.

    1. Elisa,

      There are a whole lot of no inflammation and cured testimonials in the Whole Food Plant Based movement and there is a Blue Zone where they eat way more whole grains and have longevity, too.

      Yes, getting off of refined carbs is something both groups agree on.

      But whole grains are healthy.

  13. No mention of conventional grains and the heavily sprayed glyphosate; along with other chemicals that have totally changed wheat? No mention of eating organic grains, if you indulge in them? No mention of WHY conventional grains most often cause overall inflammation; esp. in the gut? Incomplete information, IMO.

  14. Something that continues to confuse me is how can any nf.org review of studies on the health effects of grains can involve the ingesting of those grains by way of bread. My understanding is that to make bread you have to take a whole grain and grind it down to pulp at which point you have flour to make the dough at which point it is no longer a whole food plant based nutrient source. Following the guidance of whole food plant based [wfpb] nutrition i would expect that getting your grains by way of flour based ingestion is bad as opposed to ingesting the whole grain in its natural form. Am i missing something about how bread using grain in the form of flour is somehow good for us?

    1. myusrn, great point. Yes, wfpb is the way to go, and exactly what Dr Greger and NutritionFacts.org promotes. Flour products are are seen as lacking the same nutrition and/or fiber as the whole grain berries.
      Studies about whole foods are going to be very rare indeed, more often it’s about some extract or component of food. Same with the study populations. It’s almost never about the effects of “whatever” on wfpb eating populations.

      That all being said, I think this study was of interest because “Ancient Grains” are frequently promoted in stores or in products these days and people want to know if there is a difference.

      Also, there are a fair number of folks afflicted with IBS , Crohn’s, or other digestive tract diseases that would be interested in anything that could be helpful.

      1. Thanks for the insights that helps. My understanding is that things like chrons and ibs [ and gluten intolerance ] are exacerbated by ingesting processed / flour based grain products vs whole grains. If that is true then this study seems to be about which type of processed / flour based grain products affect those sensitive to these issues the least.

        1. Yes, myusrn, I suspect you are right. I didn’t check the funding on that trial, but Kamut is a commercial brand, not a true ancient grain like spelt, emmer, einkorn.
          As well, I also consider whole fish (like salmon) superior to omega 3 supplements, and sunshine superior to vit D supplements. Almost all the studies, including the VITAL study include a statement to the effect that the ‘real deal’ whole food ( or sunshine) does what a supplement cannot do.

          1. @Barb wrt the omega3 using fish versus plant based alternatives consider reviewing the evidence in https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=omega3 search results. The nf.org folks cover the issues with getting omega3 from fish which don’t naturally have omega3 but rather have it as a result of the ocean algae that they eat which is same algae source used in omega3 dha/epa supplements. Their point being why not just cut out the middle man. In those search results you’ll also find evidence on use of ground flax/chia seeds as a great source omega3 ala which when coupled with a wfpb [ whole food plant based ] nutritional lifestyle can get you all the necessary omega3 dha/epa because with lower levels of omega6 going into our bodies studies show that efficiency of body’s ability to convert omega3 ala into dha/epa is drastically improved to the levels where not supplements are necessary.

    2. Part of what we’re looking at is level of processing. Yes, even chopping can be considered “processing” so grinding whole grains down to make bread would seem to be even more processed. However, we need to be realistic about how expansive we will define processing. No question whole grains are healthier than ground grains, but for many of us we will still consider ground grains healthy as long as no oil, sugar or other additives are included in our bread nor is the flour chemically processed beyond the grinding. Forks over Knives defines whole food as “natural foods that are not heavily processed. That means whole, unrefined, or minimally refined ingredients.” and buy that definition simple non-refined flours could qualify. You may decide bread doesn’t cut it for being a whole food and certainly relying on bread for your whole grain requirements wouldn’t cut it, but certainly moderate inclusion of bread makes it easier to incorporate other whole foods (veggie sandwiches with mustard for example.) At least that’s my perspective on it, but appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  15. I use Dove organic spelt flour (UK) to make bread – 500g of the flour, 7gms quick yeast (for speed), 2gms salt & 400mls tepid water – no sugar, no oil. It makes a very sticky, cake-like mixture which produces 2 lovely 1lb loaves. (Wizz for four mins in food processor, divide into 2 x 1lb loaf tins, leave to rise in warmth for 30 mins or so and bake 200C for 35 mins or so (hollow tap on base). More aerated looking than ordinary whole meal flour bread, quicker and easier to produce, delicious and now find more healthy overall.

  16. Oatmeal prose: I wrote this May 26, 1999 after narrowly missing death from the May 3, 1999 EF-5, mile wide tornado that plowed through Moore, Oklahoma.

    Oatmeal in the morning,
    Oatmeal in the evening,
    Oatmeal at supper time.
    Quaker will charge you a fortune,
    The economy brand will charge lots less.
    The feed store will sell it by the hundred,
    And it’s all the same stuff.
    Oh, oatmeal in the morning,
    Oatmeal in the evening,
    Oatmeal at supper time.
    Whee, he, he, he, snort, snort!

  17. Personally I like your current presentation method with you on the screen showing the article and talking about it better than just your voice dubbed into the video.

    Great improvement! Keep up the fantastic work Dr. G. and Crew!!

  18. Healthier than what? This sounds like marketing or even branding: “Now bigger!” it says on the box (bigger than what, they don’t say). “Improved!” (over what?)

  19. Re: Acrylamide
    OPT FOR BREAD WITH LEAVENED YEAST:
    Fermentation of bread doughs with yeast has been shown to reduce the levels of acrylamide in the final product. Fermentation time also appears to play a role: A Swedish study published in the Cereal Chemistry Journal in 2004 found that, compared with short fermentation time (15 min plus 15 min), longer fermentation time (180 min plus 180 min) reduced acrylamide content in bread made with whole grain wheat by a whopping 87%.
    Take note though: sourdough fermentation commonly used to make rye bread has not been shown to efficiently reduce the content of free asparagine (an important precursor for acrylamide) in bread dough.

    ADD ROSEMARY TO THE DOUGH
    Recent research from Denmark suggests that the common herb rosemary may help reduce the acrylamide content of bread. Added rosemary to bread dough prior to baking wheat buns at 225°C (437°F) was found to reduce the acrylamide content of the buns by up to 60%. Even small quantities of rosemary (1% of the dough) were found to have a significant effect on the acrylamide content of bread.

  20. Hi, i hope my question reaches some of the moderators in this website.

    I havent been able to find any video or blog post in this topic.

    I know chia seeds cannot be digested unless they are ground. But what about soaked chia seeds? Does soaking them overnight some how softens their cellwalls and allow us to digest them? Or should be only eat them ground to absorb their nutrition?

    1. I know chia seeds cannot be digested unless they are ground. But what about soaked chia seeds? Does soaking them overnight some how softens their cellwalls and allow us to digest them? Or should be only eat them ground to absorb their nutrition?
      ———————————————————————————————————————–
      Mariano, thanks for asking this question.
      ——————————————————–
      I’m sitting here looking at a jar of organic chia seeds that were delivered to me just a couple of days ago. I ordered them after looking on the net for chia, cucumber lime water.

      Found some but they were in plastic bottles so I looked further and found a recipe for making my own. And when it came to preparing the chia seeds, it said to soak them. But IIRC, it said to only soak them for ~ 20 minutes to soften them. I know the drink I bought before, the chias were slippery and went down easy.

      Assuming the recipe I found was pretty much a standard, I’d say the short soaking time is probably sufficient. I’ll not likely try to do the cucumber, lime, pure water chia drink until spring, but that’s the amount of soak time I’ll use when I do.

      Oh, and I check my stool before flushing and I have seen no undigested seeds when I was drinking the drink before, so I wouldn’t worry about the digestion of whole seeds… at least when soaked.

      1. “Oh, and I check my stool before flushing”
        – – – – –

        Dr. How’s-Your-Poop Oz would be very proud of you, Lonie. :-)

        A while back I posted that I got all shook up when I noticed a strange red-looking thingie in my toilet (had checked before flushing, like you do). On close inspection I saw it was one of those little labels they slap on fruits and veggies to show whether they’re organic or non-organic. Whew!

        What I do re (organic) chia seeds: At breakfast time I lightly cook half or more of a chopped apple, and put it in a container to sit on the counter until lunch. I add a handful of purple/red previously frozen grapes to this….along with a hefty teaspoon of chia seeds. By the time I have lunch the chia seeds will have absorbed into the fruit mixture, as there is always some liquid, which I assume makes it very digestible. Works for me, anyway.

        1. On close inspection I saw it was one of those little labels they slap on fruits and veggies to show whether they’re organic or non-organic. Whew!
          —————————————————————————————————————————-
          Labeled organic turds… what WILL they think of next? ‘-)

    2. Hi Mariano Montiel, thanks for your question. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds has 12 grams of carbs. However, 11 of those grams are fiber, which your body doesn’t digest.

      Fiber neither raises blood sugar nor requires insulin to be disposed of. Though it belongs to the carbohydrate family, its health effects are drastically different from those of digestible carbs like starch and sugar.

      The digestible carb content is only one gram per ounce (28 grams), which is very low. This makes chia a low-carb friendly food.

      Because of its high soluble fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 10–12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach. I hope this is useful to you.
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643808001345

  21. I had no idea that pasta wheat was a different type of wheat! This may explain why I know a couple of people who can’t tolerate bread or baked goods (wheat-based) but do absolutely fine on pasta. I also know that pasta acts like an intact grain, so that may help.

    What I am dying to know is what kind of a difference this makes (if any at all) on those with a possible gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy. I still want to know if all the scary things about wheat and gluten are true such as gluten’s structure being similar to the thyroid so it causes the body to attack the thyroid and that some can’t digest it so it gets through the intestine walls and into the blood and causes inflammation.. I heard that years ago when the whole gluten-free thing was taking off and I still don’t know if there is or might be any relevance to it. I wouldn’t be concerned except that I was legitimately diagnosed with a wheat allergy when I was little and I got a lot better but never did good on bread so I never fully grew out of it. However, I did do perfectly fine on spelt when I was little as an alternative. When the gluten-craze came about I just stopped eating anything with gluten because I had no idea if I should and if there was anything to the two claims I mentioned. I would still like to know because I would love if I knew I’d do fine on rye, barley, kamut, etc. and I don’t want to potentially mess with my body to find out so I’d rather wait for the science since I’m living happily without it, but it would be cool if I could have it and benefit from it.

    1. @S if you haven’t already see https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-is-gluten-sensitivity-real-separating-the-wheat-from-the-chat/ that discusses studies on how gluten intolerance is not triggered by ingesting [ whole grains based ] gluten and is perhaps instead caused by ingesting [ processed / refined grain based ] gluten, e.g. flour, or some other aspect of the grain containing the gluten. The referenced study showed nocebo results in many of the test subjects similar to people having reactions to cellular phone and wifi networks emitted emf.

      1. Thanks, mysurn. I actually did see that video a while ago but didn’t remember it addressing me two major concerns: the two claims I heard in the past that I mentioned above. But I’ll watch it again, maybe there’s something in it I don’t remember or something I missed.

  22. I don’t plan to worry about these “acrylamide” thingies in my bread. The only kind I scarf down is/are one toasted slice of Ezekiel bread at breakfast time, and Bread Alone’s organic whole-wheat sourdough toasted bread at lunchtime — with peanut butter on top.

    I eat good! :-)

    1. I do not find that there is as much data as the conversation about acrylamides make it seem. It’s not a known carcinogen, it’s suspected to be one. But regardless, I don’t personally believe that acrylamides formed in plants cooked healthfully (so, deep frying is bad regardless) are of any relevance. To convince me otherwise, I would have to actually be presented with data of quality human studies specifically showing that acrylamides formed in roasted nuts, for example, were harmful to health. And this would have to be controlled for other factors, not just observational where people who tend to eat a lot of peanut butter also eat high salt, added oils, sugar-laden jelly, and other SAD staples.

  23. I found out from a pdf online titled ‘Common medication-nutrient depletion and interaction chart’ about some medications and their effects on nutrient depletion. Where can I learn more about drug-induced nutrient depletion?

    1. i read the abstract on this article. Mohn ES, Kern HJ, Saltzman E, Mitmesser SH, McKay DL. Evidence of Drug-Nutrient Interactions with Chronic Use of Commonly Prescribed Medications: An Update. Pharmaceutics. 2018;10(1):36. Published 2018 Mar 20. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics10010036. This seems relevant.

  24. chef AJ had someone who talked negatively about caffeine and coffee.

    I think insulin resistance was one of the topics.

    I looked back and forth at the literature and Mayo Clinic put studies in both directions.

    Is it a fast and slow caffeine metabolizer thing?

    1. I found one study that said it improved Beta cell function.

      But may improve insulin resistance or make it worse or just be coincidentally associated perhaps.

      The Beta cells functioning better – is that related to fat and the receptors.

  25. I’ve been trying to find proof that eggs are not healthy but all the research sites i.e Oxford university ,NIH, and almost everything in a Google search is saying eggs are healthy and eating eggs is not a problem with dietary cholesterol.
    Any suggestions on recent studies that show negative effects of eating eggs?

      1. Any suggestions on recent studies that show negative effects of eating eggs?
        ———————————————————————————————————–
        @ myusrn,

        I took it to mean Al was looking for a study not previously used (probably somewhat old) by NF.o.

        That is, something contemporary with the growing number of studies showing eggs are good to be eaten.

        1. Lonie, there is no such thing as “expired” research, only disproven research. None of the research demonstrating the risk of egg ingestion has ever been disproven. The vast majority of egg studies are currently funded by the egg industry at private universities. Guess what the outcome is going to be? All of Dr. Greger’s videos reviewing the peer reviewed published studies are VERY sound science and clearly show that ingesting eggs is a significant risk to health and life. If you read the actual studies cited, you’ll see it clearly for yourself. The “contemporary” studies that may suggest that eggs are not a risk are very poorly executed as Dr. G has already pointed out.

    1. Wow YR, what a amazing athletes he and his wife are. They plan to do mt everest together.

      He’s a pescatatrian, though he took only vegan rations with him to row from the tip of south america to
      antartica. Incredible.

  26. Have enjoyed and learned from these videos for years, but have yet to see any info on wound healing. I am scheduled for a breast surgery In a few weeks. When I told the surgeon I am vegan, he ordered me to eat meat and other animal protein immediately. He insisted that I cannot eat enough plant protein to assure good wound healing. I am not an “Oreo and French fries vegan”, and really try to maintain healthy diet. Do u have any information on this subject. Thanks very much and please keep publishing.

    1. Margaret, I’m assuming the Dr wanted you to eat animal protein to get IGF-1. There’s research where a lettuce leaf has been changed to contain IGF-1. It’s not on the market yet so not likely something that could help you.

      Still, maybe there are supplements available that could provide that, if indeed that is the reason your Dr wanted you to eat animal protein.

      Anyway, maybe this will trigger a response from someone more up to date on what is required for wound healing.

      https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-02/uop-apn022420.php

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